"I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don’t have any money. When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years."

— Ray Bradbury

"Build, therefore, your own world. As fast as you conform your life to the pure idea in your mind, that will unfold its great proportions."

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide whether it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they’re deciding, make even more art."

— Andy Warhol

On the State of Movie Posters: 1953-1974


Courtesy of critics and practitioners during the supposed golden age of film advertising:

“It is important to note that there is relatively little creative and mature film advertising produced in the United States. That which is produced, comes about sporadically, and does not grow out of a consistent attitude or policy of any business organization. There are many reasons for this, but they all focalize in the lack of confidence of the advertiser in the maturing and taste of the audience (a frequently encountered phenomenon in other business areas as well).” - Saul Bass, Graphis #48, 1953

“One cannot help wondering why our film posters are so bad, and the answer that first comes to mind is a piece of advertising psychology: an advertising medium must never promise more than the goods can hold. Yet there are good films too, and the posters made for them are still bad. The film distributor is of course fond of quoting the low-brow man-in-the-street and claiming that only low-brow advertising will ever get him to come to the cinema. He pushes his own bad taste on to an anonymous scapegoat and so feels exonerated from all responsibility.” - Franz Hermann Wills, Graphics #84, 1959

“Although the film has long taken its place among the recognized mass communication media, it has still not entirely shaken off the odium of the early days, when it was the plebeian substitute for the theatre and less than refined form of entertainment. This is not altogether surprising, for the advertising directed at the potential film-goer has remained for the most part lurid and loud, with texts festooned with devaluated superlatives and a graphic face hardly less primitive than that of winter sales placards. A glance at film advertisements and posters, or at the printed matter available at the box office, only strengthens one’s conviction that film publicity deliberately chooses a cheap and common graphic idiom in order to attract the masses. This sort of advertising has come to be taken for granted, if only because it seems not unreasonable that the cinema owner should use the most appropriate methods-as he seems them-for wooing the broad public on whom his survival depends.” - Dr. Maria Netter, Graphis #113, 1964

“I have since worked on hundreds of films and have experienced an unchanging frustration over their graphic progress. Compared to the improvement in packaging, record albums, book jackets, displays and other areas reaching for mass market response, film advertising seems unwilling to relate to the change in public taste.” - Joseph Caroff, Graphic Design: Works & Words, 1974

Iconography from West Side Story (top, Saul Bass; bottom, Joseph Caroff)

"Your vision…is the only thing that you’ve really got, that separates you from anybody else. There’s probably loads of people who can sing, or do music, or write or draw the way that you can. The only thing that makes you unique is that you’re you. You’ve had your experience. You’ve had your life. You’ve got your sort of knowledge. So put all of that into what you do. Make it individual. Make it unique. Make it your selling point."

— Alan Moore

"I don’t know what people talk about when they talk about a golden age because of a million designers in 1950 or 1960 or 1970, 13 did anything that was worth ten cents. They can call that a golden age but the gold has been tarnished I think."

— Bob Gill (via)

"Never think you're better than anyone else, but don't let anyone treat you like you're worse than they are."

— Rip Torn

“In your daily life, you can focus on the person who cuts you off in traffic, or you can focus on how beautiful the blue sky is when the person cuts you off in traffic. Everything was there before us and we choose what to focus on.”

— Bill Callahan (via)

“It is not inevitable that we will weather this storm. We have to find each other inside the storm and fight our way out of it, somehow. An early participant in New York’s ACT UP chapter, Gregg Bordowitz, once said, “An army of the sick cannot be defeated.” In order to defeat the sicknesses that have been imposed on us, we, the sick, will have to be the ones who fight. We must go to war against our own decline. No one else will do it for us. We have to carve out the spaces of a fuller human flourishing, which the cold-hearted society of the cash nexus will never provide. Trust me when I say that the other option is much worse.”

— Chloe Watlington (via)

Alexandra Lange on Walter Gropius, collaboration, and the myth of the sole genius:

Gropius is hardly alone in being an architect who couldn’t draw. He worked with a partner, and everything he made was at minimum a joint production. “The ideology of the past century has taught us to see in the individual genius the only embodiment of true and pure art,” Gropius wrote in “Scope of Total Architecture” (1956). His partner Sally Harkness, in a 1972 essay, added, “Nowadays young people are fighting a style of living, a style of practice, realizing again that stereotyped formulas are too restrictive.” For her, the myth of the individual genius was particularly intolerable for women, as it separated public life from private, and kept women minding the hearth.